Essakane Solar commissions 15 MW hybrid PV plant at mining site in Burkina Faso


The president of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore officially inaugurated a 15 MW hybrid PV plant at the end of last week, which will provide power to the Essakane Gold mine in the Sahel region.

The project, the construction of which started exactly a year earlier, was built next to, and synchronized with, Finland-based Wärtsilä's 55 MW oil driven power plant, and is one of the largest hybrid fuel/solar plants in the world.

Wärtsilä was in charge of overseeing the EPC works of the solar portion of the plant, and also the control system for the hybrid plant.

According to Iamgold’s president, Stephen Letwin, the solar facility, which will deliver energy to the off-grid gold mine located 330 kilometers northeast of Burkina Faso‘s capital city, Ouagadougou, will also allow a reduction of around 18 500 tones of CO2 and the saving of around six million liters of fuel per year.

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The solar portion of the project is relying on 130,000 thin film panels provided by U.S. manufacturer, First Solar, Inc.

Wärtsilä completed another utility-scale hybrid power plant that unites a large fuel-based power station with a solar PV park last year. The Finnish company connected AES Jordan’s 250 MW Smart Power Generation plant driven by heavy oil with a 46 MW solar PV park.

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